January Patreon Reward Now Up!

Sorry for the delay folks! Finishing off Hunter/Hunted was a priority, but the January Patreon Supporter Reward is now up and ready for viewing!

It’s behind the scenes stuff. Not that spoilery, either, though some might find it a little spoilery. But I tried to make sure it wasn’t too bad.

Anyway, those of you that are Patreon Supporters can head on over to my Patreon and take a look, while the rest of you … well, Hunter/Hunted is my editing project at the moment, so there’s that? You’ll just have to wait a bit longer.

In a rush, so I’ve got to run! I’ll post later with an LTUE update!

Hunter/Hunted Done! Plus LTUE in One Week!

Just a quick update here, folks. I just put the finishing touches on the epilogue to The Dusk Guard Saga: Hunter/Hunted. That’s right, it’s going to be my reading material for the next few days as I polish some things out and do some editing, plus reply to the in-progress Alpha editing, and then it’ll be ready for the at-once Alpha folks to take a look at. Be looking for that call soon!

In other news … Life, The Universe, and Everything is only a week away! I hope to see some of you there, but if not, there’s always next year.

Anyway, just a short update. And January’s Patreon Reward will be up soon. Finishing Hunter/Hunted has kept me busy.

Being a Better Writer: Garbage

Welcome back readers to another Monday entry of Being a Better Writer! I’ve just got one bit of news to talk about, and then we can cut right to the chase and talk about garbage.

That news? Life, The Universe, and Everything is NEXT WEEK! That is right! LTUE is literally around the corner of the weekend, this February 14th-16th. Will you be there? I sure will be, and I can’t wait! Hope to see you there!

Now, back to the the topic at hand. I’ll wager a number of you are pretty curious about what I’m referring to with a title like that. Garbage books? Garbage story? Garbage plots? Garbage tropes?

Nope. None of the above. Instead, I want to talk about something else. Worldbuilding garbage. That’s right, today is a worldbuilding post, that lovely topic of sitting down to draft and create worlds. But again, when I say worldbuilding garbage, a number of you may be thinking in less concrete terms than I actually am.

No, today I’m being absolutely straight. No metaphor or comparison here. I’m talking about actual garbage. Refuse, trash, debris, etc etc etc.

What does your world do with it?

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Book Burning: Now Available Digitally

So by now, if you’ve got your focus enough on the book industry that you’ve got a decent feel for the pulse, you’ve probably heard a little about Amélie Wen Zhao. If not, well, here’s the basics of it.

Zhao was one of those individuals who wanted to be an author. So she worked hard, polished her craft, wrote a trilogy, and with a little (okay, a lot, it’s publishing) luck, got a publisher to bite for her first trilogy.

Note that I used the word “was” rather than “is” in that paragraph. That’s because Zhao no longer is. Why? Well, because the “eternally socially conscious” crowd descended upon her before her books had even been released, slamming her with one-star reviews and accusations of racism to the extent that she contacted her publisher and asked to please cancel the publication.

Why? What grave crime did this woman commit that could see her so hounded that she asked her publisher to cancel everything? Everything, mind, on the first of three books, which had already made it as an ARC to early reviewers where the feedback was averaging four out of five stars, no mean feat for a first release? What sort of horrible, socially unjust thing was she doing?

Actually it was two things. One was that she dared write a book where oppression was not based on skin color, but on something else. And, as one one-star Goodreads review put it, that ‘is just bad.’ Because clearly all oppression should be based on skin color, apparently. How dare Zhao write about people finding other ways to oppress people?

But second? She wrote about slavery, and she is not Black. Yes, you read that right. She was attacked for writing a book that had slavery in it because she’s Asian, and as such should not be allowed to write about slavery. Because clearly China  never had slavery or anything like that.

So yeah. In the face of mass harassment from these “socially minded” individuals (and sadly, even other authors), Zhao pulled her book, issued an apology, and backed out.

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Being a Better Writer: Character Development, Worldbuilding, or Empty Fluff?

Hey readers! Welcome back to Being a Better Writer, the regular Monday feature where we talk about writing ins and outs!

Most of you knew that, but I have to assume there are some new folks popping in for each post. Because there are, according to the stats I see. So, welcome newcomers, and welcome returning readers. Since I wrote up a good-sized news post last week, there’s nothing that keeps me from diving right into this, so let’s do that.

So … Character Development, Worldbuilding, or Empty Fluff? Where am I going with that? Well, this post topic comes from a few sources, but there’s a core cause of it that spawned this topic on the list. There’s a book out there that I read, along with many others that … well, let’s just say that its “character development” is left a little lacking. This post actually was conceived when I stumbled across someone talking about the book online who posted an entire topic about the book’s “character development” asking how it was character development because it just felt like a bunch of constant, rambling scenes that really didn’t contribute anything except maybe some worldbuilding, but after that just endlessly repeated.

And, since this is the internet, a huge debate ensued, with some attempting to defend the book, while others agreed that yes, it was just empty fluff that the author seemed to think was character development. Those who defended it assured folks that the author had done it and it involved the protagonist, so anything involving the protagonist meant that automatically, it was character development. Also, being the internet, a consensus was not reached.

In turn, that made me pick up my pen and jot down another topic on the list, because if you’re going to write a book, you definitely don’t want to get character development and worldbuilding mixed up. Worse, you don’t want either of them replaced with empty fluff.

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The Good News!

Four items of news today, folks! All of it good!

You know that old saying “No news is good news?” Well, I have been a little quiet over the last few weeks.

In fact, the area where I’ve been the most quiet is my Current Projects page, simply because a few months ago I forgot to update it for a few days and lost count of where I was on Hunter/Hunted. As in, I lost track of my word-count, which was my process for updating everyone.

Well, I haven’t gone through and added up a word count of each chapter. I mean, I could … but it was the holidays, etc etc. So I just went with “No news is good news” and kept writing.

And now? I can give you the good news. The Dusk Guard Saga: Hunter/Hunted has only four chapters left, counting the one I’m working on right now. Five, maybe, if something unexpected catches me by surprise.

Yeah, we’re talking next week.

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LTUE Video Archive

Quick post here, once again extolling and reminding everyone of the awesomeness that is LTUE! The advance sign-up ends soon, so if you’re going to go, get your ticket now!

But maybe you’re a little hesitant. You’ve not heard of Life, The Universe, and Everything before and you’re wondering if it’s worth taking the plunge for. Well, maybe what I’ve got to share with you right now can help make that decision.

See, turns out LTUE has a recording department, and one of their heads pinged me on another site to plug their YouTube Archive Channel! It’s pretty much what you’d expect: A whole slew of videos of various panels from several years worth of conventions. Sadly, the 2017 Fantasy-Romance panel I didn’t find in their (the funniest panel I’ve attended hands down) but there are a lot of other interesting panels on topics from guns—

—to magic systems—

—all from a variety of skilled authors.

So, if you’re missing this weeks Being a Better Writer post and looking for some brain food, or if you’re unsure that LTUE will be worth your time and money, again, hit the link! See what you’d be in for, what you can learn, and what the place is like! There’s a huge amount of video at that link, and it barely scratches the surface of what LTUE delivers each year.

Hope to see you there this year!